6 Things Special Needs Parents Want You To Know

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6 Things Special Needs Parents Want You To Know

I have been a special needs mom for 2 1/2 years. My oldest son Carter, who is now 5, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 1/2. Our journey has been terrifying and exciting. We have learned so much about ourselves and other people. It’s a common misconception that those with special needs aren’t capable of love and learning, but they are wrong. However, there are some things we as special needs parents what you to know.

1. We Are Exhausted

Yes, no matter how motherhood looks, it’s tiring. But special needs parenting is a whole new level of tired. I once read caring for a child with specials is equivalent to caring for an infant. But for years.

Mom lays down on the couch with her two sons, looking worn out and exhausted
Courtesy of Erin Martz

2. We Are Lonely

Specials needs parenting is isolating. There aren’t many people who are willing to learn and accept our lifestyle. We get left out a lot.

3. We Are Jealous

We love our kids. More than we can say. But sometimes we get envious of the ease of ‘normal’ families.

4. We Are Scared

We have no idea what the future looks like for our kids. We worry about being invincible. Who will look after our kids and love them when we’re no longer around.

Little boy with autism in a bright orange shirt smiles big while drinking milk from a straw at a restaurant
Courtesy of Erin Martz

5. We Love Our Kids

Yes, we talk about hardships special needs parenting entails. But we love everything about our kids. The good and the bad.

Mom takes a selfie with her young son with autism in a yellow and white striped shirt
Courtesy of Erin Martz

6. We Want Your Understanding

We don’t want to be pitied or looked down on. We want acceptance, inclusion, and compassion.

If you’re a special needs parent, know you’re not alone in your struggles. And your feelings are validated. It’s hard. It’s okay to say it’s hard. Find the joy in your child. It’s there; I promise. You’re amazing and so are they.

Mom hugs her son with autism while they participate in fall activities in a corn field
Courtesy of Erin Martz

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Erin Martz. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘Please, sit with us. Text us. Stop by and insist on taking our kids for the day because I promise we won’t ask for help. But mama, we need it.’: Mom says all a special needs parent needs is for you to ‘show up’

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